Chilham Castle 5km, 10km and Duathlons :: Sunday 16th Oct 2016

swabbotts-chilhamOh my, what a wet day, but it was the muddy underfoot that made this race what it was. Trail run I was told but no, cross country which the occasional swim in the mud. I would say this has to be one of the most fun races I’ve ever done but I reckon it was running with Dora that made it was it was. The first race I’ve had solely with participants running with dogs. What could be better?

Joey Chasseaud took part in the standard 10km. Team Swabbott were out in tow of their canine team mates.

Ruth Merry and Iggy also took part in the Cani-X, “Wearing his medal with pride after his first 5km race. He stopped at every puddle and tried to make friends with quite a few dogs regardless of how much of a trip hazard that made him. Then he felt we had run enough by 4km and walked the rest. He was also perplexed by the duathletes who kept running behind him and would stop to watch them approach and then overtake us. I don’t think he’s very competitive.”

Event information can be found here



Amanda Magnabosco :: Winnie the Pooh Wander :: 15th October 2016


Two members of ATC took on the *Winnie the Pooh Wander* running challenge at Ashdown Forest, East Sussex – better known as the Hundred Acre Wood.

This race was a 6 hour, time over distance, trail running event on the hills, valleys and heathland.

Mandy Swinerd and Amanda Bashford set off early on Saturday morning to take on the figure of eight course, which offered views of many scenes from the Winnie the Pooh stories as well as some unexpected ‘undulations.’amandamagnabosco

The first loop of the figure of eight was well balanced with a downhill drag into a cluster of trees before breaking into an equally sharp uphill through an exposed field and then meandering around the edge of the main clump of trees. This half of the trail offered beautiful views over the Weald and returned to the main checkpoint before turning runners onto the back half of the course which was soft underfoot and gently rolling save a steady hill to the aid station.

For this race, the aid station was full of a variety of sweet and salty offerings with the added treat of honey-drizzled flapjacks in keeping with the Winnie the Pooh theme. Mandy completed 10 miles and is definitely going back for more next year. Amanda had a fun day on the trails and completed 32 miles, finishing 2nd Lady overall. She would absolutely run this course again.

Member Profile: Pete Heritage

pete_hAlthough I didn’t know it at the time, my journey towards triathlons started around 5 years ago. After years of working out in a gym, I decided to go for a run. It was only 3k, but it was so hard! I wasn’t anywhere near as fit as I thought.

After building up distance slowly but surely, I ran a marathon, plus multiple obstacle course races. Looking for another challenge, I bought a bike.

I was now enjoying running and cycling. I’d always liked the idea of triathlons, but it never seemed like an option because my swimming was so bad. Honestly, I was terrible. I needed to learn how to swim from scratch, but I was too intimidated to join a club.

Then two years ago, I finally plucked up the courage to go to one of the ATC Tuesday night coached swimming sessions at Ashford Girls School with a couple of mates.

I was introduced to Ruth, who would be my coach. She asked me to swim a length or two so she could see what she had to work with. I couldn’t even swim a length of the 20 metre pool. It was embarrassing.

But Ruth was amazing. She basically taught me how to swim, building a competent swimmer, piece by piece. All of the other coaches are brilliant too.

A few months later, I did my first triathlon. Then another, and another. I did six triathlons in my first year. It’s safe to say I’d caught the triathlon bug.

This club is so friendly and welcoming. It genuinely is suitable for everyone, regardless of experience, fitness or pace.

I realised this after taking part in the Owler half-Ironman distance triathlon. I’d had an absolute shocker. My swim was awful (it was a miracle that I was even swimming in open water!), and I had a nightmare on the bike. I’d had two punctures, and only one spare inner tube. Eventually a kind passerby gave me a spare tube, but I spent nearly all of the 56 mile ride in last place. It was a wet and miserable day. I was miserable too.

By the end of the race, I think I’d managed to get to third from last. As I entered the Julie Rose Stadium for the finish, it was a bleak sight. The organisers were packing up, the spectators were long gone. I’d pretty much decided to give up triathlons all together.

Then I heard my name being shouted over the PA system. I looked over to see who it was, and noticed that a group from ATC had waited behind for me. Bare in mind I hadn’t been with the club long, I’d never even had a conversation with most of these people. Yet they waited for a long time in the rain for me, just because I was one of them.

Genuinely, I’ll never forget that. What a great club.

This year I completed my first Ironman, which was one of the best experiences of my life. And it would never have been possible without ATC.

Givaudan Ashford 10km

An awesome turnout with ATC supporters scattered around the course. Well done to everyone who took part. Congratulations to Alex Milne and Willow Forrest who came in first, winning the 10km club championship.


Results are available here

Ashburnham Place – Standard Tri 2016

Race Report by Ian Dunning (Caution, contains expletives)

“Nothing standard about a standard”

Before I start… On a serious note… We learnt 2 very valuable lessons today

Firstly… There is no price on your health and at times the toughest decision is to listen to your body saying ‘no, enough is enough’ and stop (unless your name is Brownlee)

Secondly, the importance of doing jack shit the day before your race 🙂

Well it wouldn’t be a race day without some sort of commentary from me now would it?!

Can’t use the word ‘blog’ as Pete has nicked that to write about himself and himself only… #sorryaboutthatpete 🙂

Up and out at stupid o’clock on a Sunday morning to register between 0630-0800 to a place of worship and religion… Well it is a Sunday afterall…

Triathlon has become my new religion and I was praying for a sudden drop in water temp so it was a wet suit swim

As I arrived at Ashburnham Christian Trust. (Sussex Triathlon race venue) I started to notice those yellow arrow signs… You know the ones… They show us the way?

But all these signs were pointing uphill !!

At registration, the pre race whooper upperer was using words and phrases like ‘I would describe the bike as HEAVY’ ‘It may be 80k but it will feel like 90k’ ‘ Run has hills’ ‘one that steep most will walk it’

Hardly words of encouragement and motivation… Anyway… It is what it is…

With race bag in hand I set off to collect my bike and prepare for transitions and saw some friendly ATC faces.

Alex… Is he an umpire or a referee?

The Swabbotts complete with dogren

A unique group, light in number but high in quality…

3 entrants, 2 support crew and 1 referee/umpire

Surely a day without incident… Hmmmm wait n see

Martin and Robert carefully slipped into into their wet suits… hallelujah… Praise The Lord… It is a wet suit swim and left together off into yonder distance to race briefing by the water

This left Julie and Mandy sitting down and suddenly realising they had 6/7 hours to kill and the reminder this is life now supporting or racing on a Sunday.

Each race started after the previous race swim had finished so I went down to water side “with my wet suit” to cheer on ATC and also to check out swim entry and exit.

Entry was easy… Get in the Water

Exit… Was a single step ladder out of the shallow end

Now for those intelligent ones amongst you, will realise that shallow means different things for us vertically challenged. I wasn’t quite treading water before I got out but it certainly wasn’t far off…

Anyway back to the start, as I approached I saw the volunteer paramedics tucking into their pre race bacon roll. It’s an even longer day for volunteers than competitors and we can’t race without them…

I did say I hope I don’t see you again and I got a ‘I hope we don’t see YOU again’ back… A phrase that would later haunt me…

It will come as no surprise that Mr & Mr entered and left the water together and ran off towards T1 with Mrs & Mrs cheering on the way…

My turn to swim, standard distance and longest race distance yet.

Job done, safely negotiated the step ladder, unzipped wet suit to waist as all good triathletes do and legged it to T1…

I felt surprisingly well and as I ran past Mrs & Mrs I screamed ‘I survived the swim’ punching the air with delight. I know I can bike and I know I can run… Shit me I was actually doing this.

Into T1 and looked at my watch. Had to double check the time… I was 10 mins quicker than I had ‘planned.’ Must be a Garmin glitch 🙁

I was purposely methodical in transition and got out on my bike. Pressed lap and started biking. Time was still 10 mins up…

Must be wrong , can’t be and I doubted myself… Pressed lap again and showed me running whilst I was biking…. F#*k it… IT WAS RIGHT… Arghhhhh.

I somehow managed to set my watch to an individual bike and later an individual run so I could keep an eye on time and pace.

Another lesson… The months and weeks of training really do pay off and dont be surprised if it all comes together 🙂

I finished my race and the first face I saw was the umpire/referee who told me I wasn’t going to tell you how tough it was… Thanks… but I had completed my first standard and there is nothing standard about that.

Off to my support role (after compulsory massage) and asked Mrs & Mrs how Mr & Mr were doing…

Bike done… Together (no drafting I hope)

Running… Together…

4 park runs on a hilly trail together… Tough!!

Rob completed his first circuit and painstakingly looked chilled and relaxed. He even had time to stop and have a chat at drink station, enjoy a refill, mouthful of sweets and off on his way… BUT…

Where the f#*k was Martin…

Nothing… Too long a gap and could sense a worry in Mrs A…

Where the f#*k was Martin…

Then he appeared… Like an advert for ATC… blue through and through… Easily recognisable but taking only little baby steps… #worried

Got to his beloved and lent off barrier, dropped his head and clearly in discomfort.

A loving arm around the shoulder and a gentle rub of the shoulder and it could have been a scene from a romantic tale but sadly Martin was visibly in pain.

Martin gingerly walked into T1 and was interrogated by the umpire/referee ‘Have you finished?’ A little bit harsh from said official as Martin was sobbing real tears as he realised Rob was going to finish before him again 🙂

Martin replied yes and before he could say ‘I have’ said official was down on his knees…

I have heard of mouth to mouth resuscitation in the case of emergency but going down in the public eye was a bit drastic…

Oops… My mistake… ‘I need to remove your chip so you don’t get a PB’ #heartless

And then he called for first aid… Actually Alex did that first but for comedy value I chose to omit that…

Martin was escorted by 2 ladies off to the ambulance and duly looked after…

I reported back to Julie that Martin was being looked after and got changed etc etc…

Walked over to the snack van for post race chips but saw Martin first waving at me from ambulance… Was he ok or was he waving for assistance, a holding of the hand… After all last I saw him he was crying…

I sacrificed my chips and leapt to his need… #worried

Shouldn’t have been, sitting up joking with paramedic Laura holding his finger where she had stabbed him for a blood sample… #dramaqueen…

As I turned to continue my journey to snack van, Mandy appeared holding her wrist… Have you anything for a wasp sting? Only to be treated by the paramedics I had told I didn’t want to see again… (the ones at swim start)

I asked if they treated anyone else today for exhaustion, dehydration, bike crashes or any race related injury… No… Nada…

I then did a quick calculation…

Nearly 40% of attending ATC had to be treated by paramedics.

1 for a wasp sting and 1 for couldn’t be bothered to finish the race (I did check with Martin I could say that)

Confident Rob will finish, I enjoyed my chips (eventually) and left for home.

The drive back took me on the reverse of the bike route and I got to enjoy those hills from the comfort of my car and the contentment I had completed my first standard distance and I can now well and truly tick that box…

Post Race Report :: by Ian Dunning – Ironman Vichy 70.3 2016 – 27th August 2016

JamesB-Vichy-2016St James Batcheller Day

Today was race day for James and he was centre of attention or so I thought ….

Now I took it upon myself to get up at stupid o’clock and support him from start to finish

Well one of us had to do it … It wasn’t as if anything was happening tomorrow or anything ….

So there we were 0515 leaving for Vichy in pitch black from a hotel in the French wilderness… Nothing unusual or dodgy there then but totally acceptable on an Ironman weekend .

Traffic was a nightmare but meant James had no time to dilly or dally to the start .

Was it a wet suit swim .. Yes or no …..

I will take my wetsuit just in case the race directors change their mind …..

Being the professional he is James purposely stayed at the back so he could assess the form of his competitors or was it so he could have his own little window to swim in … I will let you decide 🙂

Swimmers going off course , struggling swimmers holding onto Marshals canoes , swimmers getting pulled from the water , children screaming with delight when their parent completed the swim , watching a team mate disappear into the distance ….

I can honestly say I did not expect spectating to be so emotional and sheer relief when JB walked out the water but sadly not a Halle Berry moment in a bikini

I forgot to mention that Pete was clearly missing his love boat lover as kept texting me or was it his cunning plan to see if it was a wet suit swim ….

Anyway , JB safely negotiated T1 and I managed to witness the bike mount and he was away….. And breathe 🙂

James had set a target of 4 hours for swim T1 and bike which gave me and the rest of the group an idea for time and meeting up etc etc….

Bike racking for IM was from 1600 but group arrived in time for the James arrival at T2 and to add support for the run

Pete provided tracker updates for his lover so we could plot where he was on course and could shout and scream as he ran past us on his 2 loops

In this online virtual world we live in you would have thought the info would have been ‘live ‘ so plenty of notice on his arrival into the finishing arena ….

Its fine he is only on 19k plenty of time Pete said only to shout next … There he is

The whole of Vichy crew leapt from their seats as if fired from a gun … Leaving all valuables behind inc phones and cameras so no photos taken cos the priority was banging the boards and making as much noise as possible as seen on ALL those IM branded finishes.

Now talking of sudden appearances ….2 in fact …

Lee ‘ the messiah ‘ Gladwell had appeared like a shining light of reassurance for those that needed it …

Emily (Mrs Pete) also appeared and elbowed JB out the relationship …

So now all the IM went and got their bikes for racking and if I’m honest with you the rest of us went … Thank f#*k for that and a sigh of relief … until Mark appeared panicking where do I take my bike ….

Don’t panic Mr Mannering and was safely directed the right way …. The day wouldn’t end in a Y without a Thomas flap

Final action of the day was the Iron Lady 5k supporters run . Amanda and Mandy totally ignore race regulation and wore ATC colours instead of race pink. Respectable times to … Well done ladies 🙂

Finally a big day for the racers tomorrow with everyone slipping off for their own food arrangements but agreeing to travel in convoy leaving 0445…. #cantwaitfortomorrowspost

Post Race Report :: by Ian Dunning – Ironman Vichy 2016 – 28th August 2016

Sally-Vichy-2016The big one … Squeaky bum time .. Shit this is real … It’s only a race …. The only polite terms I can post to describe today ….

Months even years of planning for Vichy 27.08.2016 ….

What could possibly go wrong …

Early nights planned for racers and support crews …..

Alarms set and a back up alarm and a back up alarm set …. just in case 🙂

Bags packed and left by the door for a quick exit … After all isn’t the night before a race only a longer transition ?

What could possibly go wrong ….

Transition bags … Check …
Wet suit and goggles … Check
Running shoes .. Check
Group decided to leave in a convoy … Check
Meet 0445…
Drive out car park 0500…

No problems . Military precision . Everyone looking after their own shit ….

Now, I can’t comment for the other rooms but me and my roomy (separate beds I remind you ) were confident alarms would go off on time and it was simply a case of grabbing bags and getting in the car…

Down to reception, admittedly a couple of minutes late , to see Pete pacing outside like a cat on a hot tin roof looking at his watch…… Gesturing in the same way as the now infamous supermarket scene…

Mr & Mrs Stef appeared with Pete now saying … We were supposed to driving out at 5 …… BUT…

Where the f#*k was Garry

Ou est Garry ? Have you seen Garry ?

Non , no et Non !Garry-Vichy-2016

Maybe he’s left already and arranged an ATC welcome….. No
Maybe he’s waiting in the car … No
Maybe he’s having a pre race breakfast …. No

Maybe .. No he couldn’t have
Surely not …
On A race day ….
Months of planning … Surely not
Has Garry overlaid ?

Where the f#*k is Garry ?

No hang on …. WHERE THE F#*K IS GARRY !!!

Pete couldn’t wait any longer and left ….
Mr Stef braved it and went and knocked Garry up …. After all what are friends for …

Mrs Stef announced … Garry HAS overlaid…. OMG… Quick leg it …

Stef-Vichy-2016Mark , myself and Mr & Mrs Stef swiftly left before a Tazmanian Devil whirlwind appeared …

But secretly confident that Garry wouldn’t be too far behind ….

Afterall sleeping is a transition and Garry is good in transition … Right ?

Arrived at Race Hq with 1700 IM and 2 car parks had been arranged

Parked up and walked to ATC gazebo HQ meeting point which I had forgotten to tell you had been set up as the Tri Village for St James Batcheller Day

All gathering like a school assembly so let’s do a register….

Sally . Check
Pete. Check
Mark… Check
Stef … Check

Where the f#*k was Garry

Still dark so could be anywhere ….

Even Captain Lee and Victoria had managed to arrive and they biked ALL the way from their local hotel ….

Then , like Lee and Emily on JB day, a sudden appearance form the Chairman…

Garry sat down… All part of the plan…. Nothing to worry about …. No dramas only solutions… #simplesMarkT-Vichy-2016

One by one they left for the swim start all in light blue club kit ..
Support left for swim start and agreed to wait for them all to swim and literally get on their bikes at T1

Now you know you are at a race when you hear Guns n Roses Paradise City or AC/DC Highway to Hell but this time add in the 3 Musketeers as chief crowd whooper upperers and you have yourself an atmosphere at 0630 !!

No benefit to our intrepid IM as deep down they or at least Mark Thomas was still hoping they would change it to a wet suit swim as he carried a wet suit into transition . Little did he know the race had already started 🙂

All jumped in the water and we could witness their jumping skills clearly from the pontoon. All in the water safely ….. Or so we thought 🙁

The app or online tracker or the naked eye enabled us to check their progress throughout the swim and the odd individual announcement from a Musketeers as they left the water .

Found a brilliant viewing spot as the crowds thinned out for the Team and could clearly see our club mates arrive T1 grab bike and get to bike dismount.

It is fair to say that we ATC support crew weren’t the only ones making noise and I find it a stroke of genius for race organisers to put names on race numbers for that extra personal touch…

Simon-Vichy-2016It was a European race and the shout was allez allez allez ( go go go ) not Ali Ali Ali – Emily 🙂

Athletes of all shapes and sizes and ages … Bikes of varying stature which called for a ‘ you don’t want to be leaving T1 last with a bike like that ‘ from course record holder Gladwell

Still one by one they came and went and an extra cheer when on their bike and off and away out of sight onward into the French countryside.

Until it came to Mark Thomas ….

Is it fair to single out Mark as the race progressed ?
Is it fair to single out a man who was railroaded into an ironman event for only his 5 triathlon…
Is it fair to single out a man who meticulously plans everything to the finest details and checks and double checks everything

Hell yes because we have all been there and the whole idea of my posts was to bring a smile and an alternative look at the weekend .

So we heard the Musketeers announce Mark Domas as now left the watter ( say aloud in French accent for maximum comedy effect)…

We saw MT approach his bike .. Cheers from the group
We saw MT standing next to his bike …. Cheers from the group
We saw MT still standing next to his bike and still standing ….
What was he doing…
Taking fluid , doing an M check or an ABC check…PeterW-Vichy-2016
He moved…checked .. Moved forward…. Cheers from the group
Stopped looking at his handle bars… Was something wrong ?
The fact MT had completed the non wet suit swim within the cut off time was a major achievement and deserved all worthy recognition …
Moving again … Ran past a referee … Who stopped him !
No way!
A Stef Hayes penalty box close by …. No…
Referee was talking to MT ….
Shit shit and shit….!
Ref leant down as if to look at his bike ….noooooooo !
MT had dropped something or something off his bike …
Disqualification for littering ….. Nooooo
Nope …
MT had dropped a gel and the nice ref picked it up for him …. Phew 🙂
Ran to bike mount area….
Stopped again still looking at his handle bars..
That prompted me to run up along side hime and shout in my most positive encouraging tone … ‘ will you get on that f#*#*ing bike ‘
And he was gone….

Now what you competitors at all races don’t realise is the amount of self control needed when supporting…

PeteH-Vichy-2016Bladder control that is …

Standing next to water needing a wee and being able to hold it for hours is worth a mention so we all legged to ATC HQ and a much needs comfort break…

All out on the bike course and time to kill . Food and liquid on the agenda and a power nap…. As I have said it s tough being a supporter.

We could use the tracker to plot where people were on the bike course and info was upto date.

It was all quite exciting cos tracker follows all athletes so you can admire the pros for their times afterall it was a race !!!

Talking of admiration ….

I think I have mentionned everyone during the last 4 days except Peter Welsh for being in unrecognisable black colours along with half the entrants and Simon Quested for being in his own personal ‘can I break the club record’ space

A special admiration mention has to go out to Sally for having the cahoonas to carry on despite getting a whack in the neck at swim jump in start, aggravating a former injury , completing the swim, getting on her bike, not showing her support crew at T1 she was in discomfort but recognising it wasn’t safe to continue and being safe .

But more importantly coming to ATC HQ and letting us know she was safe and well and FINE…. and we all know what that stands for 🙂 #weloveyouSally

MarkF-Vichy-2016Day was getting on ( bit like this post) but we were now at a point where we could see our team exit T2 onto the run. The run was a 4 time loop with viewing points next to ATC HQ and we could calculate when everyone was due to pass for that much needed encouragement .

Everyone was counting the laps down until it was time to enter the stadium finish where we could witness our Ironmen finish with a splendid lap of glory deserving very single ounce of congratulations given by your adoring families , friends and team mates.

On which I will finish there …..


Battle for Hastings :: 21st August 2016

Bike ride from Ashford to Hastings (and back) 

This is an opportunity to have a ‘fairly’ long ride with your club mates then enjoy and ice-cream before returning home feeling tired but GREAT about your achievement.

However, should you want to speed your way from the Julie Rose Stadium to Hastings Pier (like an arrow from the bow of an ancient king) then the time to beat, the ATC club record, set by Alex Milne in 2015 is: 1hr:21mins:54seconds

Battle for Hastings

Time: 8:00 am from JRS car park

Date: Sunday 21 August 2016

Distance: over 30 miles each way, depending upon your chosen route.

Paul Barron will be leading a group, suitable for all members, taking a route via Appledore and Winchelsea seafront. We shall stay together as a group and return as a group – unless you decide to catch a train or get someone to take you home from Hastings.

If you intend to make your own way then you choose your own route.

This ride is appropriate for any cycling mates you wish to bring along – it will be a happy group!

ATC Coaching Weekend Report :: Becca Ashby

ATC-Coaching-Weekend-CycleIt’s been awhile since I have managed to make a training session with the club so thought I would try and attend as much as I could on the coaching weekend.

Sally took the run coaching on the wet & miserable Saturday morning. She went through many useful exercises and techniques to improve our running styles/speeds. We even had a backwards skipping demo from Ian and Jen! Ask them to show you when you see them next! 😉

Next I went to the swim coaching session, run by Lee & Paul. I had my technique filmed by Lee and he ran through a few ways that I could improve. Actually there are probably millions of ways I could improve but he stayed positive and gave me some pointers in the right direction!!

Finally I took part in the novice bike ride on the Sunday, organised by Alex. We had a quick safety briefing first by Paul (which we managed to put to good use 5 minutes later when Amanda came off her bike, luckily nothing too serious, just a bruise or two I think). We completed the Brett Triathlon route and the weather was perfect.

A massive thank you to all the coaches that were involved in organising this and giving up their time to help us all.